As consumers, when we purchase a product for home use, we expect it to be safe. As we make our decision to purchase one product over another and as we determine how much we are willing to pay for the consumer product, we certainly evaluate the benefit we will receive from the product. When looking at two seemingly identical products, if we notice that one is safer than the other, we will surely choose the safe product for our family.
Sometimes products are placed on the market or in the "stream of commerce" before they should be. This occurs because sometimes manufacturers are focused on the bottom line which results in products being assembled by overworked or malfunctioning machines, products being assembled too quickly, or products being sold before they are fully tested. When this happens, the consumer who purchases the product may be injured by the defective product. Defective products can cause serious injuries and may result in death.
It is important that manufacturers, sellers, and distributors all be held accountable for defective consumer products. A product manufacturer is required to ensure that it adheres to regulations designed to ensure that only safe products are made and sold. A product distributor is responsible for safely transporting products from the original manufacturer to the seller or retailer. The product seller or retailer is then responsible for ensuring the product is safe when it is placed on the shelves to be sold. Without a system to hold the companies liable in product liability, many more unsafe products would reach the market. Sometimes, depending on the facts of the case or claim, only the manufacturer may be responsible for a defective product. A defective product or "product liability" attorney at Tapella & Eberspacher will be able to determine who is liable for your injuries.
Typically, three types of claims may result from an injury caused by a defective product:
(1) Defective Design – When the entire batch of products made contain a defect, it is called a "design defect." Such a defect typically occurs when the manufacturer simply performed inadequate research and/or did not test the product for safety. For example, if a blender is designed in a way that permits the blade to become detached if the blender reaches a certain speed, it is likely that all of the blenders of that particular make and model are dangerous and therefore, defective.
(2) Defective Manufacture – In contrast, if only that particular product is defective as opposed to all products of that make and model, it is called a "manufacturing defect." Sometimes the assembly process contains a flaw and one or few products made on a particular day are defective. For example, if a batch of children's toys are painted with a paint that contains too much lead, it is a "manufacturing defect."
(3) Failure to Warn – If you have ever received a safety recall notice from your car dealer, you realize how important such warnings are. Without these warnings, we would not know when our vehicle is unsafe. It is understandable that sometimes, the manufacturers realize things need fixing after time. Under such circumstances, the manufacturer is charged with advising the end users (the consumers) that their products need adjustments. Similarly, sometimes products are simply inherently dangerous but are still needed. We know that lawnmowers are dangerous because they contain a very sharp blade. To make sure that no one is hurt by this blade, a lawnmower manufacturer will place warnings on the lawnmower itself and in the instruction booklets. If the manufacturers fail to provide these warnings, they may be held liable.
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a defective consumer product, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact the attorneys of Tapella & Eberspacher for help. We can be reached in our central Illinois office at (217) 639-7800 or in our St. Louis metropolitan office at (618) 628-3800.